Graphic courtesy of Ford.

Graphic courtesy of Ford.

Ford has begun a collaboration with H.J. Heinz to explore the use of tomato fiber as a possible sustainable bio-plastic material for vehicles, the automaker announced.

Ford researchers are now testing the material's durability for potential use in vehicle wiring brackets and storage bins.

Dried tomato skins could be repurposed for either of these uses.

If Ford is successful, the result would be a more sustainable composite that could reduce the use of petrochemicals in manufacturing and reduce the impact of vehicles on the environment.

"We are exploring whether this food processing byproduct makes sense for an automotive application," said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford. "Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact."

Read Ford's full release here.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet